Years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive a child have broken more than Angie DeSaria’s heart. Following a painful divorce, she moves back to her small Pacific Northwest hometown and takes over management of her family’s restaurant. In West End, where life rises and falls like the tides, Angie’s fortunes will drastically change yet again when she meets and befriends a troubled young woman.
Angie hires Lauren Ribido because she sees something special in the seventeen-year-old. They quickly form a deep bond, and when Lauren is abandoned by her mother, Angie offers the girl a place to stay. But nothing could have prepared Angie for the far-reaching repercussions of this act of kindness. Together, these two women—one who longs for a child and the other who longs for a mother’s love—will be tested in ways that neither could have imagined.
In this tear-jerking novel by Hannah (Between Sisters), 38-year-old Angela Malone abandons a successful advertising career in Seattle to find comfort in West End, the small Pacific Northwest coastal town where she grew up. Pregnancy woes (chronic miscarriages, a baby who lived only for five days and a botched adoption) have caused her marriage to journalist Conlan to end in divorce. Her big, warmhearted Italian family welcomes her with open arms, and she throws herself into revamping the family restaurant, DeSaria's. Then she befriends hard-working teenager Lauren Ribido, who's in need of a new coat, some mothering and, later on, a place to live. Lauren's life is far worse than self-pitying Angie's she's pregnant, her alcoholic mother has given up on her, and her rich boyfriend, David, is off to his first-choice college. Lauren can't go through with the abortion David encourages her to have, and the next step seems obvious: she should give the baby up to Angie, who's on the way to reconciling with Conlan. Hannah stacks the odds against Lauren almost absurdly, and makes her life with Angie a rose-tinted dream come true, but she paints a wrenching, convincing picture of the dilemma teenage mothers face. Familiar but warmly rendered characters, a few surprising twists and a bittersweet ending make this satisfying summer reading.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Things We Do for Love
I really enjoyed reading this story. It was sad to read about a child so neglected by her own mother and so alone in this world. Yet it was refreshing to find a women with no relation taking this young girl under her wing. The way the two merged into a beautiful relationship filling the need of each other; a woman wanting to be a mother and a young girl wanting to be loved by a mother, at the end was wonderful!
The things we do for Love
Entertaining, not Hannah’s best story
What love does for us
Beautifully written, winding the reader through the joys and heartaches of real life. You'll come to love the big Italian family whose sisters can irk each other, but rally when the chips are down. The parallel story line of the impoverished young girl who has a mother in name only will find you cheering her on as she faces a challenging future. And the heartbreaking reason that caused Angie to lose the husband she loved will make you wish she had dealt with her traumas differently. A satisfying read!